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Bavuma says resting Magala, Rabada for 2nd England ODI was part of series plan


  • Proteas limited overs skipper Temba Bavuma said the call to rest Sisanda Magala was a pre-planned one.
  • Magala, along with Kagiso Rabada, was rested for Sunday’s second ODI against England which SA won by five wickets.
  • The Proteas face England in the third ODI in Kimberley on Wednesday.

Proteas limited overs captain Temba Bavuma backed the call to rest in-form pacer Sisanda Magala, saying it was part of their plan for the series.

Magala, who was man of the match in the first ODI against England which South Africa won by 27 runs on Friday, was rested for Sunday’s second ODI which the hosts won by five wickets.

Pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada was also rested for the match, a decision that looked to be foolhardy when SA won the toss, bowled first, and conceded 341.

The batters came to the party to help South Africa overhaul what is their third-highest successful chase in ODI cricket.

READ | 20-point boost: How SA’s 2-0 lead v England boosts Cricket World Cup chances

Bavuma said the plan to rotate the players was something that was discussed and needed to be implemented regardless of results.

“The coach (stand-in coach Shukri Conrad) has also made some brave calls to rest guys, which is good. It’s nice to see new faces go out and do the job. That’s what you talk about when building depth in our team,” Bavuma said.

“That was spoken about before the series started, specifically among the bowlers and how they’ll be rested, making sure they’re as fresh as possible.

“With the bowlers, it’s definitely been about rotating the guys. It’s not just keeping guys fresh but giving others the necessary experience.”

With the two wins in Bloemfontein that have gone a long way to boosting the Proteas’ chances of qualifying automatically for the World Cup later this year, the hosts still want to make sure they get processes right.

They have Wednesday’s third ODI in Kimberley to make sure their processes work, with another 10 ICC World Cup Super League points at stake.

Sunday’s chase was SA’s most flawless in recent years, while Friday’s win displayed a resolve that wasn’t always evident under former coach Mark Boucher.

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While Bavuma was overjoyed with the contrasting nature of the wins, the diminutive skipper said their processes remained important.

“We’ve definitely made it clear that our focus is going to be on the how or the process and not so much on the outcome,” Bavuma said.

“Obviously, the outcome is also important, but how we’re going to judge ourselves is how we go about our business.

“I know we haven’t done consistently well in the 50-over format, but performances like these will go a long way to giving us that confidence and giving us the belief that we can be among the best in the world.”

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